Inside Good City Brewing’s New Taproom
New downtown brewery, taproom and restaurant hosts a soft opening this Friday.
If you happened to be at a Milwaukee Bucks or Marquette Golden Eagles basketball game this weekend, you got a special treat as you left Fiserv Forum. Good City Brewing‘s new brewery in the Bucks’ entertainment block had quietly opened.
The fast-growing brewery, led by Dan Katt, David Dupee and Andy Jones, opened a portion of its new downtown location this weekend following the games at the arena. Customers didn’t waste any time finding the space, with Katt and Dupee noting that it filled up quickly.
While much of the city was shut down because of the heavy snowfall on Wednesday, the three partners showed off their new brewery to the media in advance of a more formal soft opening scheduled for Friday afternoon.
The 15,000-square-foot space builds on the design of the brewery’s East Side location: lots of black, exposed metal, high-quality wood finishes and a brewery exposed to the public.
“We are excited for this to become the craft beer spot in Milwaukee for a town that loves its beers,” said Katt. “This is a showcase,” said Bucks president Peter Feigin. “People are going to be blown away.”
Visitors will find the brewery has well-defined spaces, something intended to handle the large crowds that will form before and after games. A dining area with table service is located along the W. Juneau Ave. side of the building, while a bar area, complete with “grab-and-go food”, high-top tables and 32 taps, faces the arena.
At the back of the dining room is the Oak Room, a 25-person private dining room filled with fermenting tanks. The 10-barrel oak tanks, known as foeders, will allow brewmaster Andy Jones to experiment with wild and sour beers.
Jones doesn’t have the option to brew sour beers with the 17-barrel system on the East Side. “Because of the yeast used there is a big risk of contamination,” said Jones. But don’t expect to drink sour beers at Good City anytime soon. “The process is pretty slow, you probably won’t have any beer coming out of this room for six months.”
In addition to the fermenting room, a one-barrel pilot brewery and open-concept kitchen overlook the dining room. Chef Guy Davies, who has been with Good City since it opened, will also oversee the culinary side at the downtown location alongside new sous chefs. In addition to a lot more space, Davies will also have a stone hearth oven to bring up the heat. The native Australian told members of the media he’s yet to finalize the menu, but anticipates using the new oven at a temperature between 700 to 800 degrees. Good City will serve lunch and dinner at the downtown location.
Upstairs there is a 7,000-square-foot, 350-seat event space, dubbed Good City Commons and wrapped in floor-to-ceiling glass, offering impressive views of the plaza, Fiserv Forum and city. The Commons will be open after games and concerts when it hasn’t been rented out, but the rental market has already been brisk. “We already booked much of 2019 for weddings and corporate events,” said Dupee. The first event is scheduled for Saturday. Not much of a perk in the middle of a snowstorm is an an open-air deck, but come spring, it will offer visitors cool outdoor views overlooking the plaza.
Formal operating hours for the location are still being developed. On Friday, the brewery will open at 2 p.m. and run until well after the Bucks game. Next week, Dupee said he anticipates opening at 4 p.m. daily.
A grand opening weekend is planned for February 22nd.
One important twist will be particularly appealing come summer: customers can carry their beer outside anywhere on the plaza, including to televised events on the massive screen in the alley and to live events.
Good City opened in June 2016 with a single location on the East Side. That location was expanded in 2017 to include an additional event venue. In 2018, the partners announced the arena location and shortly thereafter announced the purchase of a building in Century City for warehouse space, corporate offices and potential future brewing capacity. Good City will move into the Century City building in March.
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